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Time to Start the Fire

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Even Andy LaRoche and Blake DeWitt wonders where the bats have gone. AP Photo/Duane Burleson

The Dodgers are quite the lucky team. The Lakers’ attention in the media have deflected most of the focus away from how putrid the Dodgers are.

6-1, 3-0, 2-1, 5-4, 3-1, 4-1, 9-0, 5-0. These are all the scores of the Dodgers’ losses at the hands of the Mets, Rockies, Cubs, Padres and Tigers. Not exactly a murderers row in the schedule and all the Dodgers could muster was a whimper.

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It’s not like the Dodgers have bad hitters. Russell Martin, James Loney, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier are solid young players that hit in the meat of the order. Blake DeWitt has been an unexpected gem and has seized control of the third base job like none before him since Adrian Beltre. Andy LaRoche has now come up and in his second at-bat this season against the Padres hit a solo homer in the spacious Petco Park. Taking away LaRoche who has all of five at-bats, the other guys are hitting over .280.

Granted they have some really atrocious hitters, namely Chin-Lung Hu and Andruw Jones, but shouldn’t the other guys compensate for them?

Well the Dodgers are eighth in the National League with a batting average of .260, ninth with an on-base percentage of .327 and 14th with an OPS of .703. Additionally they are 11th in the league with 585 hits and 13th with 281 runs scored.

Combine that with a pitching staff that isn't as good as they have been in previous years and a defense that is mediocre, it adds up to a lot of frustration.

A lot of excuses has been made that the offense needs Rafael Furcal, and admittedly that would help. But ask the Florida Marlins last year where having an MVP-caliber player in Hanley Ramirez got them: a 71-91 record.

Unfortunately, the Dodgers offense is now exposed for what it is: an average hitting team with below average power who had a tendency to strand runners on the basepads.

In response to this, in particular the lack of productivity in the shortstop position, what does the fearless GM Ned Colletti do? He's not afraid to pick up yet another hack. This time the hack is in the form of Angel Berroa, the 2003 AL Rookie of Year, from the Kansas City Royals. That alone should have raised alarms, but the fact that Berroa couldn't make the team the last several seasons really should have stopped Colletti.

Get this. The Royals wanted Berroa gone so badly they decided to pay most of his inflated salary.

While some may call me a clown for my ripping of the Lakers, the clown nose for this town should definitely go to Ned Colletti. He admittedly doesn't look at statistics instead favoring how he feels about a player. It's now his third year as the GM, and now it's time to hold him to the fire. But there are 88 more games to do that.

I said at the beginning of the season the Dodgers would be a third-place team in the NL West. And in this horrible NL West, the Dodgers will soon be overtaken by the San Francisco Giants if they don't start hitting something other than opposing batters or the catcher.

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